A Cool Influencer On Style Rules, Shopping Tips & Favourite Places
A Cool Influencer On Style Rules, Shopping Tips & Favourite Places

A Cool Influencer On Style Rules, Shopping Tips & Favourite Places

Hamburg-based Cherifa Akili is one of those stylish women who can take simple staples and make them cool. Because we’ve been enjoying her IG feed, we asked her to tell us a bit more about how she does it – and what she loves about her hometown…

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When getting dressed, start with one key piece and go from there. You can then build the rest of the look around it. This really helps me nail a stylish, timeless and elegant aesthetic with a capsule wardrobe. When in doubt, my top tip is to go for a tonal or monochrome look, as they make a statement with minimal effort. For everyday wear, my vibe is comfy but chic (and really comfiness is the more important part). I tend to stick to a couple of key neutral shades, so mixing and matching within my wardrobe is easy. 

Don’t feel the need to jump on every trend. For a while now, I’ve tried to build out a timeless wardrobe which allows me to combine classy and clean pieces in a cool, modern way. This can then be used as the base of every look, with trends being weaved in when they work with the rest of your pieces. Be honest with yourself and what actually works for you. There will often be other styles that are more your vibe than the most obvious, trending hot product. For example, in the last few months I’ve had a huge affection for YSL heels. Not the uber popular Lee Slingbacks, but the more classic and clean version that feel much more ‘me’. They’re an investment, but one I can justify as they slot into my wardrobe effortlessly. 

When in doubt, my top tip is to GO FOR A TONAL OR MONOCHROME LOOK, as they make a STATEMENT WITH MINIMAL EFFORT.

If you’re in a style rut, you’re likely lacking inspiration. Go to Pinterest, create a folder and save down some inspiration. Go for looks you’d love to see yourself in or a style you’d like to emulate. After collating a couple and finding a direction, clear out your wardrobe and keep pieces that work with this vision. If you need to invest in new pieces, start with some timeless quality staples that will last you and that you can pull on for multiple looks. Alternatively, find people whose style inspires you. Yana Motina is someone I’ve been loving lately. She wears some of my dream pieces and mostly in all black, which always looks cool and considered. 


Regularly explore and discover new brands. An under-the-radar brand I’m loving is Aeron. From its minimalist cuts to its wonderfully crafted shapes and amazing tailored pieces, it’s all in the details. Almada Label is another – it’s a knitwear label from Scandinavia which makes the softest classic knits. One of my all-time favourite coats is also from Almada – I wear it almost every day. 

Only invest in designer pieces you’ll get your cost per wear from. For me, these types of key pieces are what I enjoy styling the most. It’s tough to pick favourites but my vintage Hermès Kelly 28 in black leather and beige canvas is definitely up there. It’s my favourite vintage buy hands down. It’s older than me and the colourway is just perfect. Classy and chic, I can wear it with almost everything in my wardrobe. My favourites also include my Khaite Abigail jeans. They’re the perfect fit. Last but not least, my Bottega Veneta Tire boots have been a big love for years now. I recently wore all three pieces together, and this look was so me. 



Some designer pieces will never go out of style. This is true for a sentimental piece I’ve owned forever: my furry Gucci Princetown loafers. They will always be a part of my wardrobe – mostly because they were the first designer item ever bought – but also because they still work well with plenty of my wardrobe. When I first saw them on the runway, I fell in love immediately and saved my money for several months to be able to afford them. Today, I’m still loving and wearing them constantly. 

Basics don’t have to cost a fortune. Most of mine are from COS and ARKET. COS especially is doing a great job right now. Again, I always look at silhouettes and cuts when shopping, and I think it nails both. It feels a bit like affordable Jil Sander. Both COS and ARKET nail hard-to-perfect materials such as silk, cashmere, and wool at a lower price point. 


The best shopping destination is a toss-up between New York and Paris. On one hand, Soho in NYC has such a flair that is just different to anywhere else in the world. But I'm forever a Paris girl, so I’m leaning towards saying the Triangle d’Or. You can never go wrong with the classics.

Bangkok has the most unique boutiques in the world. Stocked with special and extraordinary pieces, it's like you are in a different world of you won’t find anywhere else. 

New York is a winner for independent stores. You can get everything you want, and everything you never knew you needed – it’s dangerous. However, an unexpected spot for great stores is Singapore. You might think it would just have high-end luxury stores, but there are so many unique boutiques giving European fashion a great Asian twist.

Harrods is hands down the best department store in the world. After every shopping tour, I like to treat myself to a fresh box of Charbonnel et Walker dark sea salt caramel truffles.

Both COS and ARKET NAIL HARD-TO-PERFECT MATERIALS such as silk, cashmere, and wool AT A LOWER PRICE POINT.

Never shop alone. My ideal shopping day wouldn’t be complete without company – I just love going with my bestie. We’d start with a coffee then enjoy looking around different boutiques. Fun fact: window shopping is the way forward. Only try on pieces you truly think you’re willing to invest in – it’s better for your bank account and helps with avoiding bad buys.

Find your vintage hot spot. Secondella in Hamburg is mine. It has the best vintage selection and some rare gems. It’s one of those places where you have to be quick, or you have to visit frequently. That’s kind of the beauty of vintage shopping though – you never know what you’re in for. 




The Fontenay is the most stylish hotel in Hamburg. It’s right in front of the river Alster in the city centre, and I just love its modern architecture and the calming views. You can’t beat a coffee at its outdoor bar in summer with a bestie. 

The Grill at Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten has great flair. It also has good food and the best service. No matter if you go for a dinner date or with a group of friends, it’s always an exciting evening. My recommendation is the beef tartare. 


Jin Gui at the Tortue hotel is the most stylish spot to go out. It’s an incredible Pan-Asian restaurant. I always order a table full of side dishes and starters, and end with a big plate of sushi. You need to try the miso eggplant for a starter and the spicy tartare roll for the main. My go-to look: blazer, pleated pant, and kitten heels.

Don’t miss Uzwei Cafe for a people-watching spot. Right in the city centre, it’s the perfect spot to get together with friends, have a coffee, and enjoy everyone walking by. In summer, you can sit by the canal in the sun, which makes it even better. On the topic of coffee, Hamburg definitely needs a few more good spots, but my favourite is Erste Liebe Bar. It’s a cute little place that also does yummy sandwiches. The best place for brunch would be the Tortue Hotel – I’d recommend the French crepe.

Puzzle Bar and Le Lion are must-visits for drinks. At Puzzle Bar, you can have fancy drinks – I always go for the Yuzu Pornstar – and a gorgeous view of Hamburg from above. I also love a good Gin Basil Smash, which was invented at Le Lion.

Follow @CherifaAkili on Instagram.

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